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Margaret Smith's Journal Part 1, from Volume V., the Works of Whittier: Tales and Sketches   By: (1807-1892)

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MARGARET SMITH'S JOURNAL TALES AND SKETCHES

BY

JOHN GREENLEAF WHITTIER

The intelligent reader of the following record cannot fail to notice occasional inaccuracies in respect to persons, places, and dates; and, as a matter of course, will make due allowance for the prevailing prejudices and errors of the period to which it relates. That there are passages indicative of a comparatively recent origin, and calculated to cast a shade of doubt over the entire narrative, the Editor would be the last to deny, notwithstanding its general accordance with historical verities and probabilities. Its merit consists mainly in the fact that it presents a tolerably lifelike picture of the Past, and introduces us familiarly to the hearths and homes of New England in the seventeenth century.

A full and accurate account of Secretary Rawson and his family is about to be published by his descendants, to which the reader is referred who wishes to know more of the personages who figure prominently in this Journal.

1866.

MARGARET SMITH'S JOURNAL IN THE PROVINCE OF MASSACHUSETTS BAY, 1678 9

TALES AND SKETCHES

MY SUMMER WITH DR. SINGLETARY: A FRAGMENT

THE LITTLE IRON SOLDIER PASSACONAWAY THE OPIUM EATER THE PROSELYTES DAVID MATSON THE FISH I DID N'T CATCH YANKEE GYPSIES THE TRAINING THE CITY OF A DAY PATUCKET FALLS FIRST DAY IN LOWELL THE LIGHTING UP TAKING COMFORT CHARMS AND FAIRY FAITH MAGICIANS AND WITCH FOLK THE BEAUTIFUL THE WORLD'S END THE HEROINE OF LONG POINT

MARGARET SMITH'S JOURNAL

IN THE PROVINCE OF MASSACHUSETTS BAY

1678 9.

BOSTON, May 8, 1678.

I remember I did promise my kind Cousin Oliver (whom I pray God to have always in his keeping), when I parted with him nigh unto three months ago, at mine Uncle Grindall's, that, on coming to this new country, I would, for his sake and perusal, keep a little journal of whatsoever did happen both unto myself and unto those with whom I might sojourn; as also, some account of the country and its marvels, and mine own cogitations thereon. So I this day make a beginning of the same; albeit, as my cousin well knoweth, not from any vanity of authorship, or because of any undue confiding in my poor ability to edify one justly held in repute among the learned, but because my heart tells me that what I write, be it ever so faulty, will be read by the partial eye of my kinsman, and not with the critical observance of the scholar, and that his love will not find it difficult to excuse what offends his clerkly judgment. And, to embolden me withal, I will never forget that I am writing for mine old playmate at hide and seek in the farm house at Hilton, the same who used to hunt after flowers for me in the spring, and who did fill my apron with hazel nuts in the autumn, and who was then, I fear, little wiser than his still foolish cousin, who, if she hath not since learned so many new things as himself, hath perhaps remembered more of the old. Therefore, without other preface, I will begin my record.

Of my voyage out I need not write, as I have spoken of it in my letters already, and it greatly irks me to think of it. Oh, a very long, dismal time of sickness and great discomforts, and many sad thoughts of all I had left behind, and fears of all I was going to meet in the New England! I can liken it only to an ugly dream. When we got at last to Boston, the sight of the land and trees, albeit they were exceeding bleak and bare (it being a late season, and nipping cold), was like unto a vision of a better world. As we passed the small wooded islands, which make the bay very pleasant, and entered close upon the town, and saw the houses; and orchards, and meadows, and the hills beyond covered with a great growth of wood, my brother, lifting up both of his hands, cried out, "How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob, and thy habitations, O Israel!" and for my part I did weep for joy and thankfulness of heart, that God had brought us safely to so fair a haven... Continue reading book >>




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